Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Review: Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur


Publisher: Puffin
Format: Hardcover
Released: August 11th, 2011
Grade rating: A-


Amazon summary:

Eleven-year-old Elise feels stuck. Her school locker-buddy squashes her lunch and laughs at her, every day. She doesn't want to go to school - and her best friend Franklin just makes things worse.One day Elise discovers an incredible secret. A secret that might just help her unlock her past, and take a chance on the future.

Review:

Like with Suzanne's debut novel, Love, Aubrey, I instantly fell in love with Eight Keys. Her writing draws me in so quickly and easily, and within mere minutes I'm hooked. I don't know what it is - whether it's her seemingly effortless prose or realistic characters - but something makes her books stand out to me. I get lost in the story on the page and I never want it to end. Simply put, Suzanne LaFleur is a brilliant and, in my opinion, understated writer who deserves so much more recognition.

Eight Keys is a coming-of-age novel with a sweet mystery and enough emotion to ensure there isn't a dry eye in sight. Eleven-year-old Elise is starting middle school, re-evaluating her friendship with lovely boy Franklin and experiencing bullying firsthand. She's also discovering that her now deceased parents loved her more than she ever knew, and that somebody dying doesn't necessarily mean the end. Her story is one of hope and learning, and what it means to be a good person.

Eight Keys deals with a variety of different themes and issues, including death, grief and bullying. LaFleur approaches each topic with a sense of respect, to both her characters and readers. She tugs at heartstrings and creates hope in a single sentence, making even me - someone scared of death and everything it brings with it - realise that it's an inevitable part of life but that it doesn't have to mean the end for a family or a relationship. Just because people aren't with us anymore doesn't mean they haven't left an indelible mark on our lives.

I've taken a lot away from Eight Keys, and I wish I'd been able to read it when I was younger. It's a must-read for any girl starting or getting through high school, and every theme is beautifully written and sensitively handled. Suzanne LaFleur is absolutely brilliant; she's one of my favourite writers for younger readers. I'd recommend her to everyone - her books are a real treat!

12 comments:

Cliona said...

I have got to read this, it sounds amazing! Fantastic review.

I Want To Read That said...

I loved this one too:)

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I adored this too! I thought franklin was a complete sweetie.

Scumbag Sam said...

I have entered a comp to win this book - it looks like a great one. I read the 1st chapter and it seems cute. thanks for the review :)

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The Thirteenth said...

I will get this for my daughter soon to be 11! thanks for another great review :)

Zoe Crook said...

This sounds fantastic! Brilliant review, I need to read this now...

YA Yeah Yeah said...

Great review of one of my favourites of the year!

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Vickie Ramage said...

I think the same, I would have loved this book when I was younger, possibly more than I do now. I haven't read Love, Aubrey yet but I plan to and I hope it's just as good!

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